Long Live the King

( 4 )

Overview

From the award-winning writer of the original Upstairs Downstairs—the second novel in an irresistible trilogy about an Earl's family and his servants at the turn of the twentieth century.

As 1901 comes to an end, there is much to be grateful for: The Dilberne fortune has been restored, and the grand Dilberne Court, with its one hundred rooms, has been saved. Lord Robert's son, Arthur, is happily married to Chicago heiress, Minnie, who is pregnant ...

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Long Live the King

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Overview

From the award-winning writer of the original Upstairs Downstairs—the second novel in an irresistible trilogy about an Earl's family and his servants at the turn of the twentieth century.

As 1901 comes to an end, there is much to be grateful for: The Dilberne fortune has been restored, and the grand Dilberne Court, with its one hundred rooms, has been saved. Lord Robert's son, Arthur, is happily married to Chicago heiress, Minnie, who is pregnant and trying to come to terms with her new role as lady of the manor, and her charming but controlling mother-in-law, Lady Isobel. As Lord Robert and Lady Isobel get caught up in the preparations of the coronation of Edward VII, they debate the future of their recently orphaned niece, Adela. Isobel and Minnie want to take her in; Robert and Arthur do not. While they argue, Adela runs away and joins a travelling group of spiritualists and has a life-saving run-in with the king.

 

With Long Live the King, Fay Weldon continues the magnificent trilogy that began with Habits of the House. As the award-winning writer for the pilot episode of the original Upstairs Downstairs, Weldon brings her deservedly famous wit and insight to this novel of love and desire, morals and manners.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Weldon's second installment of the Love and Inheritance Trilogy is a capable, but lackluster, return to romance, intrigue, and beautiful homes. In this starchy rendering of King Edward VII's all-consuming 1902 coronation, England is still mourning Queen Victoria. Tension between Lord Robert (Earl of Dilberne) and his wife, Isobel, over extra coronation tickets results in Isobel secretly posting them to Robert's estranged brother, Edwin, along with a gift for their 16-year-old niece, Adela. Edwin is a repressed, abusive man who calls Adela stupid and plain, and deprives her of food. When tragedy strikes Adela's family, the suddenly-orphaned, lovely, blue-eyed girl with the "blonde-red Botticelli waves" is seduced into the world of trances, séances, and fake spiritualism, becoming Princess Ida. Meanwhile, Isobel is consumed with Robert's interest in the beautiful, bejeweled, and unhappily married Duchess Consuelo, a Vanderbilt. Robert and Isobel's outspoken daughter, Rosina, stung by her family's rejection, marries spontaneously and unsuitably, running off with her mate and chatty parrot to Australia. Weldon ends on a happy note: the king survives appendicitis, Robert and Isobel become grandparents, and Adela unites with family. Fans of the Victorian and Edwardian periods will appreciate the characters' noble mien and place in history. (May)
Kirkus Reviews
Weldon's second installment in the Edwardian trilogy (Habits of the House, 2013) again revolves around deciding who is to receive prized invitations, this time to Edward VII's 1902 coronation. Robert, Earl of Dilberne, and his wife, Lady Isobel, again hold center stage. Son Arthur is now happily married to Chicago heiress–with-a-past Minnie, who has not quite adjusted to British aristocracy. Suffragette daughter Rosina, a spinster at 31, is still hobnobbing with intellectuals and idealists. Having recovered his fortune with the help of his Jewish financial advisor Mr. Baum, Sir Robert has become prominent in ruling circles and will participate in the coronation being organized largely by Lord High Steward "Sunny" Marlborough, nicknamed for his unsunny demeanor, and Lady Marlborough, nee Consuelo Vanderbilt. When Consuelo offers Robert three extra tickets to the big event, Robert plans to give two of them to Mr. Baum and his cultured wife, Naomi (who talks about Zionism with Lord Balfour), evidence that the Baums are rising in society since it was a mere dinner invitation that Isobel resisted offering last go-round. But in a fit of jealous pique over Robert's apparent intimacy with dashing young Consuelo, Isobel rashly sends the tickets to Robert's estranged younger brother Edwin, an eccentric minister who lives in miserly religiosity with his wife and ethereal 15-year-old daughter, Adela. Isobel regrets her decision immediately, but the invitation has been mailed. Meanwhile, tragedy befalls Edwin and his wife, Elise, and Adela, scheduled to enter a convent, disappears. As the coronation approaches, Isobel struggles to cover her mistake. Weldon plugs in historic figures like Lord Balfour and Lady Marlborough and some interesting bits of Edwardian social history and manners, but as a work of fiction, this entry is less than compelling.
From the Publisher
"Weldon remains at the top of her game with [Long Live the King]....Fans of Downton Abbey will relish this rich and witty comedy of manners." —Star Tribune

"Teeming with tasty tidbits about royals great and small, Weldon’s second installment in her Dilberne Court trilogy gives devoted Anglophiles a whirlwind tour upstairs, downstairs, and all around the castle." —Booklist on Long Live the King

"Before there was DOWNTON ABBEY, there was UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS and, having written the first episode of that iconic television series, it is only fitting that Weldon now returns to the scene of the crime to further explore the disparate worlds of “them that has and those what serve ’em.”... Always a ripe target for mockery and disdain, the British aristocracy comes in for a thorough drubbing in Weldon’s snarky send-up" - Booklist

"My favorite part of the original series is the first episode because it was written by a great English novelist, Fay Weldon. Everybody was introduced so cleverly . . . so beautifully established." —Jean Marsh, co-creator of Upstairs, Downstairs

"There is simply no touching Weldon as a writer." —The Observer (UK)

"Fay Weldon has always examined the scary parts of what lies beneath the silk cushions and behind the closed gates." —The Chronicle of Higher Education

"I was a girl from Downstairs. When I was 16, my bedroom was in the basement of a posh house in London, where my mother was the housekeeper. . . . Odd, this class business. Here's Upstairs Downstairs back again, Downton Abbey so popular." —Fay Weldon

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781250028006
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 5/7/2013
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 699,611
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

FAY WELDON is a novelist, playwright, and screenwriter who, at the age of 16, lived in a grand London townhouse as the daughter of the housekeeper. In addition to winning a Writers' Guild Award for the pilot of Upstairs Downstairs, she is a Commander of the British Empire whose books include Praxis, shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction; The Heart of the Country, winner of the Los Angeles Times Fiction Prize; Worst Fears, shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award; and Wicked Women, which won the PEN/Macmillan Silver Pen Award. She lives in England.

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Customer Reviews

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    Posted June 11, 2013

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